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Pakistan team star attraction

New Delhi: A virtually full-strength Pakistani side will be one of the two foreign teams in fray in the 13th edition of the Lal Bahadur hockey tournament beginning here on Thursday.

The Pakistani club team, that boasts of as many as 11 international players in their ranks, will be the star attraction of the tournament along with another side from Russia, the organisers announced here.

The Indian teams in the fray are defending champions Air India, runners-up Indian Airlines, Indian Navy, ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum.

Poet of soccer terraces

London: The search is on for a poet of the soccer terraces to lift the tone as well as the voices of the crowd as they follow the beautiful game.Led by Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, the goal of the search is to capture the best moments of the top English soccer matches next season and immortalise them in verse.“The appointment of a Chant Laureate demonstrates that chants are an art form and should be recognised as such,” Motion said on Tuesday. Each weekend English soccer terraces echo to the chants of rival supporters praising the talents of their heroes and denigrating the opposition. Sometimes the chants are just crude, but increasingly they are using humour to make the point.

Big W profits down

Wimbledon: English tennis officials has announced profits of $43.9 million from last summer’s Wimbledon championships.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) said profits were down from 2002 but did not say by how much. The LTA said revenues have decreased as a result of the economic downturn since the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. Profits in 2001 were $54.4 million.

Profits from Wimbledon go to the LTA for the sport’s development in Britain.

McEnroe drive for youngsters

London: John McEnroe began coaching British tennis youngsters urging them to “put some fire” into their play.

McEnroe was at Queen’s Club in West London on Monday taking a training session with Britain’s leading performance junior squad. It was the first session of an informal and open-ended coaching arrangement with the Lawn Tennis Association.

The three-time Wimbledon champion will work alongside performance director David Felgate — Tim Henman’s former coach — when his timetable permits.

“I want to get back on court and put some fire into those players’ bellies,” McEnroe said.

Alan Smith charged

London: Leeds United and England striker Alan Smith has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association (FA) for throwing a bottle into the crowd, the FA said on Tuesday.

Smith was arrested and questioned by police earlier this month but not charged after an investigation into the incident during a League Cup match against Manchester United in October.

His arrest on November 13 prompted the FA to drop him from the national side hours after he was called up as a late replacement for a friendly to be played at Old Trafford against Denmark three days later.

Smith has until December 9 to respond to the FA.

2-yr ban on US hurdler

Colorado Springs: American hurdler Damu Cherry has been banned from competition for two years after a doping violation, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced here Monday.

Cherry, 25, tested positive in an out-of-competition USADA test in her hometown of Gainesville, Florida, on February 18.

Cherry tested positive for norandrosterone, a metabolite of a prohibited anabolic agent under International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) rules.

Sport on Screen

Cricket, Zimbabwe vs West Indies — Third ODI, live from 12.55 pm on STAR Sports Snooker, Masters Challenge from 3 pm on ESPN
Soccer, Champions League live from 1 am (Thursday) on ESPN and Star Sports


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